LEADING OFF: Dodgers seek spark in Miami, Pollock hurt
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
BLAH BLAH LAND
The struggling Dodgers (16-24) hope to jumpstart their season with a series against the lowly Marlins in Miami. Of course, Los Angeles was thinking the same heading into a weekend set against last-place Cincinnati, then the Reds pushed the Dodgers around in a four-game sweep. It was the first time LA was swept over four games by a team with a .300 or worse winning percentage since the Padres did it in 1969, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Alex Wood (0-3, 3.60) tries to end the Dodgers’ skid at four in a start against Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 10.22).
Arizona center fielder A.J. Pollock is set to see a hand specialist after spraining his left thumb diving for a ball Monday. The slumping Diamondbacks lost their sixth straight shortly after Pollock was pulled, and they’ll have a hard time getting on track without him. He leads the club with a .293 average, 44 hits, 11 home runs and 33 RBIs. An All-Star in 2015, Pollock played only 12 games in 2016 after breaking his elbow on a slide just before the regular season, and he was out from mid-May until early July with a strained groin last season.
Yu Darvish pitches against the Braves aiming for his first victory since signing a $126 million, six-year contract with the Cubs in the offseason. Darvish (0-3, 6.00 ERA) is returning from the disabled list after fighting off a virus and hasn’t pitched since allowing three homers and six runs in a loss to Colorado on May 2. The teams are playing in Atlanta a day after a 6-5 Braves’ victory in a makeup game at Wrigley Field, making this the first time the Cubs will play an opponent on consecutive days in different cities since April 16-17, 1990.
First-place Houston’s Gerrit Cole goes against Jaime Barria of the Angels, who are just a game back of the pace-setting Astros in the AL West. Cole has emerged as one of the AL’s best pitchers (4-1, 1.43 ERA, 86 strikeouts and 30 hits allowed in eight starts). He’ll face a high-powered offense featuring standout two-way rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, who likely will DH after racking up 11 strikeouts on the mound Sunday in a victory over the Twins. Houston’s starters have the top three ERAs in the league, led by Justin Verlander at a major league-best 1.21. Cole is second and Charlie Morton third at 2.03.
Two of baseball’s most prodigious power hitters are on display when Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees visit Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals in interleague play. Judge has knocked in 14 runs during a seven-game RBI streak. Harper homered Sunday night to help Washington finish a four-game sweep in Arizona. Both teams have been rolling, too. New York is 19-3 in its last 22 games, while the Nationals have won 13 of 15. Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.66 ERA) pitches for the Yankees against lefty Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.22).
Mariners star Robinson Cano is to be examined by a hand specialist in Philadelphia on Tuesday to see if surgery is necessary on the broken pinkie finger of his right hand. The eight-time All-Star broke the finger Sunday when he was hit by a pitch from Detroit left-hander Blaine Hardy. The Mariners placed Cano on the 10-day disabled list and recalled infielder Gordon Beckham from Triple-A Tacoma.
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